What is PCOS?
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome affects about 10% of women in childbearing age and is the most common endocrine (hormonal) disorder. It is believed that the underlying cause is related to insulin resistance, but more research is being conducted.
PCOS affects the body’s hormonal balance which can cause symptoms such as menstrual cycle irregularities, infertility, acne, abnormal hair growth, obesity, and increases a women’s risk of developing long-term health issues such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
For more information about PCOS you can visit my page: Have PCOS? Start Here.
Weight loss can be a huge struggle for women with PCOS due to the hormonal nature of the disorder not for lack of trying.
Here are 8 steps to get you started losing weight with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS):
The first thing (and most important) that you should do before you start any program to lose weight with PCOS, is to schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider.
Your healthcare provider will probably do an assessment and take some labs to make sure you are in a healthy place and can get the most out of any lifestyle modifications you will be making in order to lose weight.
At this appointment, your healthcare provider will go over any medications or any health regimen modifications you will need to do in order to stay healthy while losing weight. This is especially important if you are taking insulin because your dosages might have to be changed to prevent any drops that can come from diet changes or an increase in exercise.
So, be sure to get clearance from your healthcare provider before you start any program to lose weight with PCOS.
Make a commitment
Commitment is KEY. You can’t stick with any program if you aren’t committed. If you continue to put your weight loss goals lower on the priority scale than other areas in your life, it will be very easy to find all the excuses in the book to skip your plan.
Time is no excuse. Health should always be towards the top of your list because if you are not healthy, it can prevent you from being able to do anything else in life, including performing at your peak at your job.
What is your weight holding you back from doing right this very minute that you wish you could change? If you view your weight loss as a priority in your life, you will be able to find the time necessary to be successful.
Create realistic goals
How are you going to know how much weight you want to lose or how you are you are going to lose the weight if you don’t set any goals? Have you heard of S.M.A.R.T. goals?
When determining your goals, it is important to include the following: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
- Specific: Instead of saying, “I want to lose weight” your goal should say, “I want to lose 20 pounds”.
- Measurable: Each goal should have a way of measuring it in determining if you met it or not. For example, when creating a weight loss goal, you should put an amount on it like in the example above instead of just saying, “I want to lose weight”.
- Attainable: Is you goal actually something that you want to accomplish? Is it something that is important to you?
- Realistic: Is it realistic that you lose 100 pounds or is 50 pounds all you need to be in a healthy weight? You must be able to achieve the goal and you must be willing to achieve it. If you don’t want to reach your goal you won’t reach your goal.
- Timely: You must place a time limit on your goal. For example, “I want to lose 20 pounds by December 25”. It has to have an end date so you have something to strive for. If you leave out the time piece, you won’t be as motivated to get it done.
For more information about setting goals, visit my post:
Success in Achieving Health and Weight Loss Goals
Last but not least, when you set goals, make sure you have a long-term goal as well as some smaller short-term goals. When you set up some smaller goals that help progress you towards your big goal, the little successes of reaching these smaller goals are huge motivators that will help you stay on target.
Make a Plan
After you have determined your goals, you need to develop a plan.
- What’s your plan of attack?
- How are you going to reach your goals?
- Are you going to change up your diet?
- Are you going to join a gym?
Determine how you are going to put a plan into action that will help you reach your goals.
Here are some blog posts about healthy lifestyles for women with PCOS to help you get started on finding a “lose weight with PCOS” plan that will work best for you:
- How to Get Started Managing PCOS Naturally in 3 Steps
- 10 Simple Diet Rules to Live By for PCOS
- How to Control PCOS Acne WITHOUT Medications!
- 14 Ways to Get Healthy & Clear Skin Naturally
Skip the Diet
Diets set you up for failure! The fad diets that you hear so much about typically include unhealthy eating habits that help you lose the weight, but the moment you stop them, you will gain back your weight and more.
If you desire to be successful long-term, you must find a healthy eating plan that you can adopt for LIFE.
In my research, I have become a big supporter of Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat to Live “diet”. It really isn’t a diet as much as it is a complete overhaul of your eating. It focuses on eating foods that are high in micro-nutrients and cutting out the foods that hardly have any nutrient value.
His “Eat to Live” book puts all this information into a step by step weight loss plan that makes it easier to implement. I wrote a review of the Nutritarian Diet.
Being sure to eat the right kind of foods is very important with PCOS due to the underlying insulin issue.
If you adopt a diet focused on high-nutrient foods, you will be giving your body what it needs to help regulate your hormones. This is probably the most important area to pay attention to when you want to lose weight with PCOS.
In order for any weight to be lost, we must deal with our hormonal imbalance first and focusing our diet on real, nutrient-rich foods is the best way to get started.
Forget the Gym
What? Yes, I want you to forget the gym is the only place you can lose weight. There are thousands and thousands of other activities that you can do besides the gym. The gym can be a great way to build muscle and get toned, but I would recommend you find something else to get in your cardio and burn more calories in your weight loss journey.
- There are many different classes you can try like Zumba, kickboxing, pilates.
- What about a video program like P90x or TurboFire?
- Have you thought of a sport that you enjoy doing such as tennis, skating, hiking?
- If you like to run, there are tons of different themed races you can participate in.
I have a few blog posts to give you an idea of some activities you could try:
- PCOS + Exercise: The 1st Step to Getting Started with Exercise when you have PCOS
- Kayaking: 7 Surprising Health Benefits of Kayaking
- 8 Sneaky Ways to Get Fit Without Trying
- No Workout Solution: Get Sporty
- Turbokick: Does it Work?
Cut the Toxic Life
Many toxins are endocrine disruptors which means they interfere with your hormonal balance. This increases those annoying PCOS symptoms, and your risk for developing heart disease, cancer, or diabetes.
While we come in contact with thousands and thousands of different chemicals each day and it’s virtually impossible to avoid them all, it is important to avoid as many as you can.
Some simple ways to cut down on your toxic life are to switch up your household cleaners and buy organic produce when you can.
For some more tips, visit my blog post about “How to Get Started Managing PCOS Naturally”.
I’d say a huge determinant for long-term success with any weight loss plan is to find a buddy that will support you and hold you accountable.
Choose wisely. Don’t choose your spouse if your spouse is not really into eating healthy or exercising. You will want someone that will encourage you to get healthy and to stick with it.
Do you have a healthy friend or co-worker that you can count on?
It’s Here! It’s Here!
There is a specific formula that has been successful for your fellow Cysters. I have helped hundreds of Cysters lose weight without using any supplements or quick fix schemes!
Jodi, Mila, Jessica, and my two dear Sarah’s that I mentioned in this post are five Cysters who have already taken the plunge and put in the work to write their very own Cyster Weight Loss Success Story!
You can do it too!
All the details for this formula I have used with our Cysters can be found in my brand new book: Lose It, Cyster! Get your copy here!